A rapid and simple capillary electrophoretic method was developed for the direct determination of bromide ion in seawater. We have found an effective method, based on the use of polyethyleneimine-coated capillaries and the addition of sodium chloride to the background electrolyte. The use of coated capillaries with a cationic polymer changes the direction of the electroosmotic flow in the capillary, which favors the migration speed of the bromide ion and enables the use of low salt concentrations in the separation electrolyte. Bromide ion in seawater can be determined within 2 min using this system and 20 mmol L-1 NaCl-containing separation electrolyte. The detection limit for the bromide ion was 0.45 mug ml(-1). The method was applied to the determination of bromide ion in seawater samples collected from the Bosphorus and the Black Sea. Bromide contents in samples from 0 to 72 m depths varied between 33.2 and 72.8 mg L-1 with a mean 3.0% RSD.