On June 28, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security issued a press release reporting formal cooperation amongst the Five Eyes Intelligence Oversight and Review Council (“Five Eyes”) to expand enforcement of export controls. Five Eyes—an intelligence alliance between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and United States—formalized its cooperation amid concerns about illicit transactions and the diversion of controlled items to Russia. This is the first agreement of its kind since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
With the agreement, Five Eyes will increase their exchange of information to identify export control evasion risks, prevent unauthorized transfers, and protect national security interests. This move expands the existing Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partnership between English-speaking nations. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod stated: “By formalizing our coordination, we hope to drive additional enforcement outcomes in each of the Five Eyes countries, including detentions, penalties, and public identification of diversionary actors.”