The idea of outsourcing the functions of the state customs service is being discussed in the Ukrainian government, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Aivaras Abromavicius has announced, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.

"We are negotiating transfer of management of the customs to a foreign company," he said at a meeting of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, which was attended by Prime Minister Arsenii Yatseniuk.

According to Abromavicius, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko will present a program for reform of the State Fiscal Service, which currently includes the customs service, to the Cabinet of Ministers in the near future.

Abromavicius spoke about the possibility of outsourcing the operations of the customs service after a meeting with Professor Paul Romer of the Stern School of Business last week. A number of countries with transition economies have already outsourced their customs services. "Among those hired include [the British-based] Crown Agents," he wrote on Twitter.

The head of the Samopomich parliamentary faction, Oleh Bereziuk, said in April this year that the Cabinet of Ministers had welcomed a proposal to transfer management Ukrainian customs to foreign experts and that the Prime Minister had instructed the Minister of Economic Development and Trade to consider such a possibility in detail.

Bereziuk said in mid-June that a company based in Britain was interested in the idea of managing the Ukrainian customs service. "There was a proposal to transfer control of the customs or outsource it to outsourcing companies in Germany, Britain, and Switzerland for 1.5 years. So, with the help of the British embassy and in cooperation with the committee, there is a company that is doing this very successfully in the world," he said at a meeting of the parliamentary conciliatory council without naming the company.

At the same time, Bereziuk said that this company has requested basic information from the Cabinet of Ministers a month ago, but it has nit yet received a response.