Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) was used for the analysis of some pesticides (bromoxynil, chlorotoluron, diuron, isoproturon, 2,4-MCPA, MCPP and 2,4-D) in rainwater after derivatisation with PFBBr and gas chromatography-ion trap mass spectrometry. The derivatisation procedure was optimized by testing different methods: direct derivatisation in the aqueous phase followed by SPME extraction, on-fibre derivatisation and derivatisation in the injector. The best result was obtained by headspace coating the PDMS/DVB fibre with PFBBr for 10 min followed by direct SPME extraction for 60 min at 68 degrees C (pH 2 and 75% NaCl). Good detection limits were obtained for all the compounds: these ranged between 10 and 1,000 ng L-1 with a relatively high uncertainty due to the combination of derivatisation and SPME extraction steps. The optimized procedure was applied to the analysis of pesticides in rainwater and results obtained shows that this method is a fast and simple technique to assess the spatial and temporal variations of concentrations of pesticides in rainwater.