Tolerable average residue levels (TARL) for tributylin (TBT) in seafood products were calculated based on the tolerable daily intake (TDI) of TBT and the seafood consumption of the average consumer in various countries. Data from the literature show that these TARLs in seafood are exceeded in one or more samples in nine of the 22 countries for which data were available, i.e. Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand and USA. In Italy also the average TBT residue level in seafood exceeded the TARL with a factor of 2.5, while in Japan the average TBT residue level in seafood almost equaled the TARL for this country. For the majority of countries, however, no data on organotin levels in seafood were available. This study shows that there is a need for country-specific maximum residue limits (MRL) for TBT in seafood products and that TBT levels in seafood should be monitored more regularly. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.