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Things You shall know When Import Hydrosol (Floral Water) to China

Hydrosol, also known as Hydrolat or floral water, is quite natural and pure, with mild and pleasant aroma. Hydrosol nowadays is a type of popular skin-care products. How hydrosol is produced? During the distillation and extraction process of essential oil, oil and water will separate. As  oil and water have different densities, essential oil will float above, while distilled concentrate will stay below. The distilled concentrate is Hydrosol which mainly consists of water and contains a small amount of essential oil and water-soluble substance from inside of plants.

Customs Classification

The interpretation for items 3301 water distilled liquid and water solution of essential oil as written in Annotations for Import & Export Tax Regulated Commodities and Items is as follows, 

water distilled liquid is the water part of distillation from the essential oil extraction process 

When using steam distill plants and extract essential oil, distilled product will be produced, and the water part of the distilled products is water distilled liquid. A small amount of essential oil will remain after essential oil is decanted, and that is why water distilled liquid is fragrant.

Plant products preserved by ethyl alcohol, after steam distilled, 

Some distilled products from plant product preserved by ethyl alcohol still contain a small amount of ethyl alcohol. Other distilled products can contain certain amount of ethyl alcohol necessary for preservation, for example, distillation of witch hazel.

Items 3301 also includes water solution of essential oil. 

These products, despite mixed with each other and become perfumes or spiceries, as long as not  added other materials, shall still be classified to 3301.    

Distilled liquid and water solutions of orange flowers, roses, melissa, mint, fennel, cherry laurel, lime and witch hazel are quite common. 

The sources and process methods of hydrosol (floral water) conform to above interpretation. Therefore, it shall be classified to HS code 3301.9090 whose tariff rate is 20%

Hydrosol (floral water) from some brands are added with essence, glycerin essential oil or other ingredients as fragrance, softener or skin conditioner. These products, declared as hydrosol (floral water) though, shall be classified to hydrosol (floral water) as they are added with other skin care ingredients which does not conform to the definition of distilled liquid of essential oil and water solution.

Pursuant to the declaration requirement for HS code 3301.9090 distilled liquid of essential oil and water solution as written on 2021 PRC Customs Standard Declaration Catalogue and Interpretation For Import & Export Goods, importers of  hydrosol (floral water) shall declare name, usage, processing method, packing specification, brand(Chinese and Foreign language), model, and ingredient contents. 

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