The need of enhanced seismic analysis and design rules for petrochemical piping systems is widely recognized, where the allowable stress design method is still the customary practice. This paper presents an up-to-date performance-based seismic analysis (PBSA) of piping systems. The concept of performance-based analysis is introduced and a link between limit states and earthquake levels is proposed, exemplifying international code prescriptions. A brief review on seismic design criteria of piping systems is then provided by identifying the main critical issues. Finally, the actual application of the performance-based approach is illustrated through nonlinear seismic analyses of two realistic petrochemical piping systems.