The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP) decided at its first meeting that projects starting after 2000, but before 2008, are eligible to be registered as Joint Implementation (JI) projects, but emission reduction units (ERUs) would only be issued for a crediting period starting after 2008:
The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol ...
- Decides that projects starting as of the year 2000 may be eligible as Article 6 projects if they meet the requirements of the guidelines for the implementation of Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol as set out in the annex below and that emission reduction units shall only be issued for a crediting period starting after the beginning of the year 2008 (9/CMP.1, paragraph 5).
This was confirmed by the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC):
Projects starting as of 2000 may be eligible as JI projects if they meet the requirements of the JI guidelines. ERUs shall only be issued for a crediting period starting after the beginning of 2008 (Guidance on criteria for baseline setting and monitoring, JISC 4, Annex 6, paragraph 16).
'Starting date' has not been expressly defined for JI projects. However, the definition provided for projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is as follows:
The starting date of a CDM project activity is the earliest date at which either the implementation or construction or real action of a project activity begins (CDM Glossary of Terms, Version 03).
This definition and the decisions above show that the starting date for a project is distinct from the start of the crediting period, and the two need not coincide.