Flight MH17: Dutch Safety Board publishes July agreement with Ukraine

“On 23 July 2014 the Dutch Safety Board took charge of the international investigation into the cause of the crash of flight MH17. This was carried out at the request of Ukraine and in consultation with ICAO. Under Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation the State where the aircraft accident occurred may delegate the investigation to another relevant State by mutual arrangement and consent. To this end agreements were set out in a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, and in an agreement* between the Ukrainian National Bureau of Incidents and Accidents Investigation of Civil Aircraft (NBAAII) and the Dutch Safety Board. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Safety Board is the designated independent organisation that conducts investigations into aircraft accidents and incidents.

Since 23 July the Dutch Safety Board has been leading an international team of aircraft accident investigators in which representatives from Malaysia, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia and the Netherlands are represented. The Dutch Safety Board is acting in accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention, and as per Resolution 2166 of the UN Security Council which called for an independent, international investigation into the cause of the crash of flight MH17.

The Dutch Safety Board published its preliminary report on 9 September 2014. As a result of the preliminary report, ICAO expressed its full support to the international team of investigators pending the final report.

*In the version of this document for the website telephone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses and the name of the co-ordinator primary investigation/technic (page 3 and 4) are not visible”

(Original text)


the National Bureau of Air Accident and Incidents Investigation with Civil Aircraft (NBAAII) of Ukraine


the Dutch Safety Board of the Netherlands



1.1 An accident has occurred in the territory of Ukraine on 17 July 2014 involving Malaysia Airlines Flight Ml-117.
1.2 The flight originated in the Netherlands and a large number of the deceased passengers were of Dutch nationality.
1.3 This Agreement expresses the delegation in whole of the investigation of the abovementioned accident by the National Bureau of Air Accidents and Incidents Investigation with Civil Aircraft (NBAA) of Ukraine to the Dutch Safety Board of the Netherlands, hereinafter referred to as the Parties to this agreement. The Dutch Safety Board of the Netherlands is expected to be responsible for the conduct of the investigation, including issuance of the Final Report and the ADREP reporting.
1.4 It is recognized that both Ukraine, and the Netherlands, are parties to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (The Chicago Convention) and that they are therefore bound by the Standards contained in Annex 13 — Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation to the Chicago Convention (hereinafter referred as Annex 13) concerning accident and serious incident investigation.

Note:  Both States shall advise each other of their respective existing differences that have been filed or that will be filed against the Standards of Annex 13.

1.5. The Parties recognize that the investigation is conducted under factual circumstances which does not allow Ukrainian authorities to exercise effective control over the territory of crash side, including wreckages and flight recorders.
1.6 Both parties to this agreement are authorized by their respective Governments to act as the national authority in respect of aircraft accident and serious incident investigation matters.
1.7 This Agreement is in accordance with Annex 13, Standard 5.1, which states “The State of Occurrence shall institute an investigation into the circumstances of the accident and be responsible for the conduct of the investigation, but it may delegate the whole or any part of the conducting of such investigation to another State or a regional accident investigation organization by mutual arrangement and consent. In any event, the State of Occurrence shall use every means to facilitate the investigation.”
1.8 In accordance with Annex 13, Standard 5.18, the State of Registry, the State of the Operator, the State of Design and the State of Manufacture shall each be entitled to appoint an accredited representative to participate in the investigation. Additionally, in according to Annex 13, Standard 5.23, any State which on request provides information, facilities or experts to the State conducting the investigation shall be entitled to appoint an accredited representative to participate in the investigation.
1.9. The Parties agreed that accredited representative of Ukraine, Ukrainian advisors and experts shall be entitled to participate in investigation.
1.10. The Parties agree that the procedures for the transfer of this accident victims’ corps and remains shall be subject for separate arrangements.

2.1 The definitions used in this document have the same meaning as that ascribed to them in Annex 13 — Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation.

3.1 The purpose of investigating accidents or incidents in accordance with Annex 13 is the prevention of accidents and incidents. It is not the purpose of such an investigation to apportion blame or liability.

4.1 This Agreement serves to foster cooperation and mutual assistance between the parties in implementing the provisions of Annex 13. Each party shall strive to overcome difficulties that may arise due to differences in languages, national cultures, legislative systems or geographic locations.

5.1 The two parties agree to work together to ensure that a competent investigation is conducted in accordance with the procedures and intent of Annex 13.
5.2 The Parties shall exchange with information necessary for the purposes of this accident
investigation. In accordance with the relevant laws of the respective States, any such information provided should be treated with at least the same rules with respect to confidentiality as those to which the providing party is bound.

6.1 The Parties acknowledge that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assists in the conduct of the investigation and that flight recorders shall remain under the control of ICAO.

7.1 The contact person in National Bureau of Air Accidents and Incidents Investigation with Civil Aircraft (NBAA) of Ukraine for the implementation of this agreement is:

Mr. Oleg Babenko (Name)
Director (Title)
National Bureau of Air Accidents and Incidents Investigation with Civil Aircraft (Agency/Authority)
Peremohy av., 14, Kyiv, 01 135, Ukraine (Address)

7.2 The contact person in Dutch Safety Board of the Netherlands for the implementation of this agreement is:

Mrs. lep Visser, LLM (Name)
General Secretary (Title)
Anna van Saksenlaan 50, 2593 HT The Hague, Netherlands,

Co-ordinator primary investigation/technic (Title)
Anna van Saksenlaan 50, 2593 HT The Hague, Netherlands (Address)

8.1 This Agreement will come into effect on the date of signature.
8.2 The Agreement may be terminated by mutual consent of the Parties.

DONE at Kyiv, the 23nd day of July, 2014, in duplicate, in the English and Ukrainian languages, both texts being equally authentic.

For National Bureau of Air Accidents and Incidents Investigation with Civil Aircraft
Oleg Babenko

For Dutch Safety Board
lep Visser
General Secretary

(Original version)

Over Hans de Vreij

Retired Dutch journalist. Covered EU, NATO, UN, security & defense. Was correspondent in Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Prague. Studied Russian language & literature.
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