PDA

View Full Version : The TRC issue and TAAN's intent


yakshaver
4th September 2006, 09:42 AM
Since I believe this is important enough to warrant it's own heading, I have posted this here. You may also find it in another section of the forum...


OK, so I got some explanation from someone I trust (in their interpretation of TAAN's intent with the TRC business...). See the text of the explanation at the end of this post, word for word. Here's my interpretation, and some initial thoughts.

TAAN is only the administrator, the "recommender" for the TRC. They don't "sell" it and therefore they don't keep the money. The government (or some Government agency or office) issues it and gets the 250 rupees. TAAN have received the licence get trekkers endoresed by a TAAN approved agency OBTAIN the TRC. If you don't have this endorsment (some licence/numbered document I would imagine) you cannot buy the TRC from the offices in Kathmandu, Pokhara or elsewhere. Simple.

If the intent would be to just collect the money, and, as a by-product, maybe get some business of the people who pass through the doors of a TAAN registered agency - well, they (the agencies) would be primarily tax collectors, with some opportunity for business... However, from what Raj has wrote to me below, it seems that TAAN agencies will only issue the TRC endorsement/rights to people who'll also buy some business from them. This appears clear enough from the statement quoted below.

At this stage I am making no value judgment, as I need to process all the variables which could enter into this. And there are many. First there are the legal aspects, but this is not so important in Nepal, or to me personally. Then there are logistical aspects etc, already mentioned by people on this forum. And many other things. How is it going to be implemented? And the most important thing: what effect will it have on the number of trekkers in Nepal, and their satisfaction with the experience, which will again influence the number of trekkers in the following season etc... The effect on the trekking industry, most importantly the independent guides and porters.

The intent is clear: TAAN hopes to be able to sell some services (guide, porter, or maybe even just porter) to every tourist who wishes to trek in Nepal. If this intent is borne out in reality, no one will trek by herself in Nepal. End of story. Let's face this issue to start with. I am not saying this intend is easy to implement in reality. We are a long way from understanding exactly how it will pan out, and how it will be policed. Maybe TAAN knows. But the intent is unambiguous to me.

Here's the text published to the direct question (YES or NO on idependent trekkers having to employ resources in exchange of getting right from TAAN registered agencies) asked by me on the yetizone forum. You can see the original there...


The reply is from Raj, histheir interpretation of TAAN's intent, simply copy-pasted as is. I do know Raj, and trust that he knows what he's talking about, knowing where he seats in the scheme of things.

""""Deniel,

Thanks for the question !!

TAAN is only the implementing agency. TRC will be given if one goes through the registered trekking agency. TAAN doesn't concern whether the trekkers buy full board package or hire only Guide / Porter from the agency they come through.

But , none of the trekking agencies can recommend for the TRC until and unless he/she buy the service from them. Because it's the matter of business; agency has to pay the tax to the government. If some one sales only TRC @ 250 he will have only a burden of tax. No agency is free form the tax.

Another thing is that check posts will verify the name of the trekking agency and ID card of the employed Guide, Porter and other necessary staffs member.

Hope you understand it.

Raj"""

Oli
4th September 2006, 04:57 PM
TAAN is only the implementing agency.

So now TAAN are getting bad perss they are trying to say "don't blame us, it's not our fault". Well according to their press releases (so far the only semi-authoritative information) it was their idea in the first place.


"TAAN had been demanding for the implementation of TRC to check illegal operations in the trekking industry."
source (http://www.taan.org.np/news_details1.php?nid=274)



"As demanded by TAAN, the Nepal Government has introduced the provision of TRC to help control various anomalies, including illegal operation."
source (http://www.taan.org.np/news_details1.php?nid=283)


And although they won't profit from the 250NRs (I fail to see how that token sum can cover the expensive administration required to implement all these extra administrative record keeping duties required by TRC), they most certainly will profit from the extra revenue generated by requiring us to employ their guide services even if they are required to hand over a chunk of profit that to the government as tax.

Also, I don't know if you've noticed but this "Safety and Travel information" forum is only available for registered & logged in users, whereas the "News & Views from Trekkers" forum is readable by all visitors to this site. I'd recommend posting any and all TRC related info to the main thread, thanks.

Harry
4th September 2006, 10:45 PM
If this TRC goes on that independent trekkers are not to go on trek without a reg.guide, what about the accomandation for the guides and porters. Like in Everest, sometimes a big problem. And of course Annapurna circuit will suffer a lot because the cheepies stay away. So let's all vote now against these plan! It's not for this TRC money which, most of us can pay easily, but the idea that experienced trekkers, who have done Everest, Annapurna etc so many times more than a regular guide.......in that case, we are the guides! Hope it doesn't turn the way like going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro!
But first, heru ke hunccha like they say in Nepal.

Harry

Andy K
5th September 2006, 01:13 PM
As others on this forum have already said - this is Nepal & there will be ways & means of doing ones own thing. IŽll be there in a months time (6. Oct) & I plan on doing the AC & only have 11 walking days so I certainly donŽt want to schlep a guide or porter along. I am hoping that the infrastructure is not yet working before I get going or that it will be a case of finding a TAAN agency thats prepared to issue this permit at a "modestly" increased rate. I will report when I get back.

Todd Delaney
5th September 2006, 05:56 PM
I am in a similar situation to Andy...I arrive in Lukla 30th Sept (in a few weeks)... I was planning on trekking independantly, fly into KTM 29th Sept then to Lukla the next day....Will keep to those plans until I'm forcibly stopped. Will pay a fine or an "inflated" fee along the way if forced to. Will also let you know how I go.

Oli
5th September 2006, 07:09 PM
Best of luck to Andy & Todd. I think you may have to be prepared to pay extra costs if they are enforcing TRC, but you are certainly entitled to kick up a massive stink that They have not given reasonable notice or official details of requirements.

Maybe a visit to the NTB offices in KTM to register a formal complaint and bend the ear of the officials there.

yakshaver
6th September 2006, 05:18 AM
I am in a similar situation to Andy...I arrive in Lukla 30th Sept (in a few weeks)... I was planning on trekking independantly, fly into KTM 29th Sept then to Lukla the next day....Will keep to those plans until I'm forcibly stopped. Will pay a fine or an "inflated" fee along the way if forced to. Will also let you know how I go.


Todd, my understanding is that the TRC rules are only to be enforced after 1 Oct (someone corrct me here please if I am wrong...). As you officially start your trekin September, you may not come under the incidence of the new law.

Maybe this need to be clarified officially. But I would think it would make sense to enforce the rules only for people who START trekking on or after 1 October.

There are a couple of other trekkers who've emailed me, in this situation, one flying to Lukla on 22 September.

daras
6th September 2006, 01:17 PM
Hi,
yakshaver: I hope you're right. The new regulations will start from 01.10.2006.
I will start my trek 22.09 so I hope, I won't need TRC or porter or guide.

but...

I send a few e-mails to travel agencies and hotels and I've recieved little bit strange answer - please see below:


::: info/answer from GARUDA hotel ::: 29.08.2006 :::

TREKKING PERMIT: From Septmeber 23rd, 2006, new regulation will require you
to get trekking permit for Everest. Therefore you cannot fly the next day to
Everest without the permit. For further details log to www.taan.com.np


::: end of GARUDA's answer :::

Why GARUDA's hotel guy wrote me that new regulations will start from [B]23.09 ???
After this answer I'am a little bit panic and I start to looking for porer/guide, but I still belive that will NOT be necessary!!!
[BTW: yakshaver - many thanks for your PM and a lot of helpful information.Thx!!]

I still have NO answer from TAAN..... I'm still waiting for any clarification from TAAN. I hope I'll get this answer before my departure

regards
daras

Escher
6th September 2006, 01:34 PM
::: info/answer from GARUDA hotel ::: 29.08.2006 :::

TREKKING PERMIT: From Septmeber 23rd, 2006, new regulation will require you
to get trekking permit for Everest. Therefore you cannot fly the next day to
Everest without the permit. For further details log to www.taan.com.np


::: end of GARUDA's answer :::

Why GARUDA's hotel guy wrote me that new regulations will start from 23.09 ???
After this answer I'am a little bit panic and I start to looking for porer/guide, but I still belive that will NOT be necessary!!!
[BTW: yakshaver - many thanks for your PM and a lot of helpful information.Thx!!]

I still have NO answer from TAAN..... I'm still waiting for any clarification from TAAN. I hope I'll get this answer before my departure

regards
daras

Don't worry I think they are talking about the trekking permit that you have always needed and will still need after the 1st October. The TRC does not replace the need for a trekking permit.

The permit for the Everest region is 1000nrps and can be bought from the office near to the Fire and Ice restaurant on the edge of Thamel (ask around), or you can ask an agency to help for a small fee, or you can buy it on the trail - either at Monjo (if the new office is finished at the entrance to the National Park) or in Namche just as you enter the town, this is where the office was when I went through in March. If you buy your permit up front it will be these places that your permit is checked on the way up and down. Its pretty hard to walk past them as one of the locals will tell you you have to sign in.

daras
6th September 2006, 03:12 PM
Many thanks Escher. Yes, probably [??!!] I won't need TRC and porter/or guide.
Yes, I prefer trek as independent trekker.

It's the final countdown - 15 days !! :-)))

regards
daras

Suginami
14th September 2006, 04:55 PM
I didn`t realise that the Trekking Permit was still around and the need for TRC so this will mean it will take longer to get out onto the trails. Maybe it can all be done in a day.

What will I do with my guide when I stay in Birethanti for a week?

yakshaver
15th September 2006, 07:22 AM
I didn`t realise that the Trekking Permit was still around and the need for TRC so this will mean it will take longer to get out onto the trails. Maybe it can all be done in a day.

What will I do with my guide when I stay in Birethanti for a week?

Not sure if I understand you correctly regarding permits. For Annapurna, you need the ACAP permit, which you can get for 2000 rupees in KTM (on Tridevi Marg on the left before entering Thamel proper, or in Pokara at Lakeside.

The trekking permit for both Annapurna and Everest regions has been abolished some years ago.

Masala_High
16th September 2006, 12:04 AM
why do they charge a permit fee for an area that can't even keep secure? does acap = maoists? is this double backsheesh?

yakshaver
18th September 2006, 03:19 AM
why do they charge a permit fee for an area that can't even keep secure? does acap = maoists? is this double backsheesh?

Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) is for the environmental protection and promotion of the area. I doubt maoists are getting this. But I also doubt how effective it is these days, In the first years of implementation plastic water bottles dissapearft for a season or two. Now they are back in force in the whole of the Annapurna area.