Aims of the integrated administration and control system
The integrated administration and control system (IACS):
- Manages, monitors and serves for EU countries to control all the area and animal-based common agricultural policy (CAP) interventions (such as direct payments interventions and area and animal-based rural development interventions), and
- ensures that comprehensive and comparable data is available throughout the EU.
Monitoring agricultural, environment and climate policies helps to keep track of the impact of the CAP, its environmental performance and progress towards EU targets. It relies on a range of data sources. These include meteorological data and forecasts, existing maps and statistics, positional information and remotely sensed data.
This information system also boosts the full and free use of open data and information captured by Copernicus Sentinels satellites and services. When setting their IACS, EU countries must use appropriate technology in order to reduce the administrative burden and ensure efficient and effective controls.
The IACS is a significant and valuable system to monitor the CAP 2023-27 performance. It captures the necessary data from EU countries to feed the Annual Performance Report required by the European Commission. It ensures that the data provided in the annual performance reports is reliable and verifiable. Data from the integrated system are available:
- for EU statistical purposes, and
- to monitor progress towards the European Green Deal’s objectives.
Control of taxpayers' money
The IACS helps prevent non-compliance by supporting beneficiaries in making correct aid applications. It also enables EU countries to:
effectively protect the EU’s financial interests, and
implement their CAP Strategic Plans.
It applies to the area and animal -based CAP interventions financed by the European agricultural guarantee fund (EAGF) and the European agricultural fund for rural development (EAFRD).
The main IACS components are subject to an annual quality assessment (QA) performed by EU countries within the framework of their CAP Strategic Plans, and reported to the Commission. These quality assessments are to assess if EU countries’ integrated systems deliver on their purpose.
Elements of the IACS
IACS consists of several digital and interconnected elements and databases, in particular:
the land parcel identification system (LPIS) is used to correctly identify all agricultural land parcels in EU countries;
the geo-spatial application (GSA) is a system that allows beneficiaries to visually indicate the areas for which they apply for aid, and, when applicable, also integrates the animal-based application system. EU countries can choose to set up an automatic claim system using the GSA and the animal-based application system;
the area monitoring system (AMS) is used to observe, track and assess agricultural activities. The AMS contributes to the reduction of the administrative burden for the paying agencies thanks to the automated process and the possibility to avoid errors, ensuring the correctness of applications, as beneficiaries can modify their applications after an early warning alert;
a system for the identification of the beneficiaries and, where applicable, a system for the identification and registration of payment entitlements;
a control and penalty system for EU countries that ensures the legality and regularity of payments;
a system for the identification and registration of animals in EU countries where animal-based interventions apply.
The IACS process
The IACS ensures that CAP area and animal-based interventions are managed, checked and monitored in a consistent way in all EU countries. Typically, IACS covers an annual process, which starts with farmers lodging their online aid application for CAP payments. In order to support farmers in this process, national administrations have to provide them with pre-filled information that they can confirm, correct or complete.
National administrations then control if farmers meet the conditions to receive CAP payments, through administrative checks of aid applications, through monitoring the activities via the area monitoring system (AMS) and for not monitorable activities supplemented by on-the-spot checks of a sample of farmers.
Payments to farmers are completed by taking into account any findings following the administrative checks, the AMS and on-the-spot checks. Finally, the national administration updates the pre-filled aid applications for the following year with information collected during the current year’s process.
Moreover, EU countries use the IACS to ensure that farmers respect the requirements and standards of the enhanced CAP conditionality, which includes statutory management requirements (SMRs) and good agricultural and environmental conditions (GAECs).
The rules on the establishment and maintenance of IACS are specified by the:
Regulation (EU) 2021/2116 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy;
Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/1172 on the integrated administration and control system in the common agricultural policy and the application and calculation of administrative penalties for conditionality;
Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/1173, laying down rules for the application of Regulation (EU) 2021/2116 relating to the integrated administration and control system in the common agricultural policy.