METI made alert to public on their web site on May 1 regarding CO (Certificate of Origin) authorization issue between Japan and Malaysia EPA.
Between Japan and Malaysia, there are two EPAs in force, which are Japan-Malaysia bilateral EPA and Japan Asean regional EPA. Both EPAs have CO authorization signature provision and strictly impose the authorized CO operation in claiming preferential tariff in importing into Japan.
The problem reported is that in Malaysia side, "not authorized" signature has made in CO and consequently the CO is not effective and rejected by Japanese customs in importing into Japan.
Japanese METI made alert to traders when receiving CO in Malaysia, make sure to confirm whether the signature was made by officially authorized person.
(The report by METI don't disclose the organization name and the person's status who provided the unauthorized signature.)
If the unauthorized signature CO is presented to Japanese customs, the CO is not valid and the importer have to pay duty in MFN rate. The refund later on by submitting correct CO is NOT admitted.
Take care and be sure to check CO signature just in case!
(Source: http://www.meti.go.jp/policy/trade_policy/090501AJCEP%20JMEPA.pdf )