The Trekkers Information Management System or for short TIMS card is one of the biggest officially sanctioned rip-offs going on in Nepali trekking at the moment. Ostensibly to aid the safety of trekkers this fee is one of the biggest pay your money and get nothing in return scams going on.
Originally designed as a system to assist in the location of trekkers if they go missing. To the best of my knowledge it has never been successfully used for this purpose. There have been however in the papers about the fund being used for foreign junkets by officers of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN).
A free service when it was first implemented it didn’t take long to attract an administration fee which has been steadily rising and now stands at USD 20 for individual, Known in TIMS parlance as Free and Independent Trekkers and USD 10 for those in groups organised by TAAN members. /rant
Be all that as it may you do have to get a TIMS card if you want to go trekking in Nepal and here is how much it cost and where to get it.
- Copy of your Passport
- Two passport size photographs
- Itinerary (this can be as simple as Lukla-EBC-Lukla)
- Individual (FIT) NRP 2000, or NRP 600 if you’re from a SAARC Country
- Group Trekkers NRP 1000, or NRP 300 600 if you’re from a SAARC Country
The TIMS card can be obtained from the offices of the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu and Pokhara.