The efficacy of the Meld system to allocate livers has never been investigated in European centers. The outcome of 339 patients with chronic liver disease listed according to their Meld score between 2003 and 2005 (Meld era) was compared to 224 patients listed during the previous 2 years according to their Child score (Child era). During the Meld era, hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) had a ‘modified’ Meld based on their real Meld, waiting time and tumor stage. The dropouts were deaths, tumor progressions and too sick patients. The rate of removals from the list due to deaths and tumor progressions was significantly lower in the Meld than in the Child era: 10% and 1.2% versus 16.1% and 4.9%, p < 0.05. The 1-year patient survival on the list was significantly higher in the Meld era (84% vs. 72%, p < 0.05). The prevalence of transplantation for HCC increased from 20.5% in the Child to 48.9% in the Meld era (p < 0.001), but between HCCs and non-HCCs of this latter era the dropouts were comparable (9.4% vs. 14.9%, p = n.s.) as was the 1-year patient survival on the list (83% vs. 84%, p = n.s.). The Meld allocation system improved the outcome of patients with or without HCC on the list.